Starter issue

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dessmo
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Starter issue

Post by dessmo » Sat May 27, 2017 12:54 am

I have had some trouble with my starter lately on my 83´Darmah. From time to time the starter has just ben "klicking", meaning there is a sound from the starter and I can also feel the klick when I put a hand on the starter. Now this has become permanent, the starter is just "klicking", and won't turn the engine. Took the starter apart and cleaned everything, this have fixed this problem before, but not now. Noticed that the brushes where quite worn, some my conclusion is that they need to be replaced. I have already ordered new ones, but then I started to think that it also might be something else. Any one who has experience with this?
Magnus
Norway
83 900 SD Darmah

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Craig in France
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Re: Starter issue

Post by Craig in France » Sat May 27, 2017 3:22 am

Hi Magnus,

A 'clicking' noise when you press the start button normally means that the starter solenoid has failed. Looks like this:

Image

Have you checked yours?

(Should not be too difficult to find - they were common fitment to lots of British cars at the time.)

Admin Edit: Bevel Heaven keeps them in stock. https://store.bevelheaven.com/Electrics ... -Solenoid/

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Re: Starter issue

Post by wdietz186 » Sat May 27, 2017 5:46 am

I think Craig is on the money. Those solenoids do act up after thirty years or more. The starter brushes being worn will cause a high current draw and that will accelerate the degradation of the copper contacts in the solenoid. Being inquisitive [cheap really] I drilled out the rivets holding mine together and dressed the contacts and it worked for a time but I finally came off for a new one.

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Re: Starter issue

Post by wdietz186 » Sat May 27, 2017 5:48 am

Oops!

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dessmo
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Re: Starter issue

Post by dessmo » Sat May 27, 2017 6:15 am

Thanks Guys,

Where is the solenoid located, it is not in the starter? I guess I can follow the wire and find it. I think it is time to change the brushes anyhow. Can you repair the solenoid, or does it need to be replaced?
Magnus
Norway
83 900 SD Darmah

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Re: Starter issue

Post by wdietz186 » Sat May 27, 2017 4:34 pm

Follow the heavy lead from the starter, it will end at the solenoid. Can't remember where it is located on the Darmah, probably mounted under the battery tray. If you drill out the rivets holding the cap on the solenoid you can get to the contacts. They most likely are burnt and the surface is rough. Sand, file ,or scrape the copper smooth and reassemble. Use some small bolts in place of the rivets [3 or 4 mm] if I remember correctly. It is also a good time to check and clean all the battery terminal and ground connections. Make sure the neg. cable to chassis ground is clean and secure, they can look ok but corrosion can cause high resistance. I got a low mileage '07 Triumph Speed triple that nobody could figure out for less than a song because of a corroded battery cable terminal at the solenoid.

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dessmo
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Re: Starter issue

Post by dessmo » Sat May 27, 2017 11:37 pm

Thank you very much Steve for the detailed answer. I might try this while I am waiting for the new parts. Have to take advantage of the sunny days we have i Norway :-D
Magnus
Norway
83 900 SD Darmah

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Craig in France
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Re: Starter issue

Post by Craig in France » Sun May 28, 2017 2:07 am

dessmo wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:15 am
Where is the solenoid located?
Left hand side, here:

Image
dessmo wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:15 am
Can you repair the solenoid, or does it need to be replaced?
At the price of a new one, they're really not worth fixing, IMO.

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dessmo
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Re: Starter issue

Post by dessmo » Sun May 28, 2017 7:29 am

Thanks Craig, Have already ordered one. And I agree, not worth to fix at that price.
Magnus
Norway
83 900 SD Darmah

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dessmo
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I still have a starter issue

Post by dessmo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am

Thanks for the help so fare, but I still haven't manage to fix the issue. Got a new solenoid and installed that, but it did not fix the problem. When I push the start button the solenoid is clicking, but no response from the starter. Took it apart and cleaned everything, the brushes are a bit worn and I have ordered new ones. But I don't think the brushes are the issue. I think it is a short cut somewhere, but can't find out where. When I push the button, all electric current is gone. No light and no current measuring the solenoid. I have tried with cables from my car, so it is not the battery. Not trying to start the battery is 12.5 V, witch should be good. Tok the starter of but still connected with the positive wire, push the start button ant I dont loos the current. So therefor I think there must be some kind of shortcut in the starter which leads the current directly to ground instead of through the windings which would set the rotor into movement.

Does anyone have tip how to search for this? I started to measure the starter, but are a bit unsure where there is supposed to be connections. To my understanding there is a + brush and a -brush, and I would guess a lot of resistance between, but how much should there be? And the robot with the windings, the connecting surface for the brushes are divided into fields, and I would guess there should be possible to measure the resistance here as well? The + cable does fead both the + brush, but also the cable surrounding the metal plates inside the walls of the housing, I guess this might also a place to search for a short cut. The distance between the rotor and the walls of the housing is very small, but i dont think there is contact. I even sliced in some paper and tried to measure the resistance to see if it changed, it did not. Basically the restive is 0.1 to 0.2 everywhere I measure, or 1 which I guess indicates that there is no connection at all.

Last option is to buy a new one, any tips on where I can find one preferable in Europe.

Finally, I really miss a kick start on the bike, is it a lot of work to get one?
Magnus
Norway
83 900 SD Darmah

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Re: Starter issue

Post by wdietz186 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:14 pm

Start by removing and inspecting/cleaning both positive and negative battery cable connections. Corrosion at the terminals can give the symptoms you describe. Also look at the cable where it goes into the terminal, if the copper wire is greenish or black or has a white powdery residue on it it is time for new cables. What happens is it corrodes inside the terminal end or down into the cable and doesn't conduct current. It can show continuity with a meter but as soon as a load is applied it will go open.

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Craig in France
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Re: Starter issue

Post by Craig in France » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:17 am

dessmo wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am
Thanks for the help so far, but I still haven't manage to fix the issue. <snip> I think it is a short cut somewhere, but can't find out where. When I push the button, all electric current is gone. No light and no current measuring the solenoid. <snip>

Took the starter off but still connected with the positive wire, push the start button and I don’t lose the current. So therefore I think there must be some kind of shortcut in the starter which leads the current directly to ground instead of through the windings which would set the rotor into movement.

Does anyone have tip how to search for this?
Hi Magnus,

I’m going to do my best here; but altho’ what I’m going to describe is easy to do, it’s a little difficult to put into words.

First, I have to ask a stupid question: are you sure the bike engine is free to turn? I ask because, if the engine’s blocked or seized, then the starter motor won’t be able to turn.

Ok, so the engine is free to turn. Here’s what you can do:

1. If you are confident that the starter motor is at fault, then a sure-fire way to test it is to:

Take the starter off. Clamp it VERY firmly in a bench vice.

Now connect a cable from the -ve on a 12 volt battery to the -ve on the starter. Then take another cable from the +ve on the battery and just touch it briefly on to the +ve of the starter.

Be CAREFUL!! If the starter is working, it will spin like a crazy thing and try to jump out of the vice and fall on the floor - and most likely get damaged (or damage you).

2. If nothing happens, then you’ve at least confirmed that the starter is at fault. This will most likely be caused by a short circuit in the windings of either:
a) the armature. This is the bit that turns. It gets its power thru the brushes via that slotted copper ring (called a ‘commutator’ in English).
b) the stator. This is the bit that doesn’t turn. It’s inside the motor case. It gets its power via a wire from the solenoid.

A. Armature windings:
Put an Ohm meter between the two brush connections. Make sure the brushes are contacting the copper ring. Any reading that is NOT 1 should be OK. This is because 1 = infinite resistance, i.e. open, i.e. broken circuit.

B. Stator windings:
Put one probe of an Ohm meter on the +ve connection on the starter motor and the other anywhere on the motor body where there is a good electrical connection. Again you don’t want to see 1.

3. If you're not sure that the starter motor is at fault, then the correct way to go is by testing for voltage drop. But this reply is already too long. Go instead:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/voltage_drop_testing.htm

Btw, these starter motors can be re-built by a competent, old-fashioned, auto-electrician.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other comments on your text:
dessmo wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am
To my understanding there is a + brush and a -brush, and I would guess a lot of resistance between …
No, not too much actually. But do make sure the brushes have a good electrical contact with the copper surface (this part is called a ‘commutator’ in English). Also, make sure that the gaps between the copper strips are clean. (If the copper has worn down a lot, it may be necessay to re-cut the gaps. But normally this is something that you only see on a motor that has done a lot of work).
dessmo wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am
And the robot (English: ‘armature’ or ‘rotor’) with the windings, the connecting surface for the brushes are divided into fields, and I would guess there should be possible to measure the resistance here as well?
Yes.
dessmo wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am
The +ve cable does feed both the +ve brush, but also the cable surrounding the metal plates inside the walls of the housing.
Yes. This is the supply to the other electro-magnet, called a stator (because it doesn’t move).
dessmo wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am
I guess this might also a place to search for a short cut. The distance between the rotor and the walls of the housing is very small, but i don’t think there is contact. I even sliced in some paper and tried to measure the resistance to see if it changed, it did not.
Don’t worry about it. Just check the resistance between the wire going into the stator and any where on the motor body.
dessmo wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:42 am
Basically the restive ('resistance') is 0.1 to 0.2 everywhere I measure, or 1 which I guess indicates that there is no connection at all.
Do the tests above. 1 is bad.

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Re: Starter issue

Post by BevHevSteve » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:49 am

Well put, Craig.

This right here is the type of stuff I built this forum to address....... Post a good question, get a well put together answer. BINGO.
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dessmo
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Re: Starter issue

Post by dessmo » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:11 am

Thanks a lot for the help, the starter is now up running again and I have enjoyed riding the bike for some weeks. And then of cause a new problem pops up - an oil leak along the axel at the right side were the sprocket is attached.
Magnus
Norway
83 900 SD Darmah

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